This recipe comes from my Indian food writer friend
In the same pan, dry-fry the cumin seeds for a few seconds until slightly darkened, followed by the mustard and then the fenugreek seeds. Fry each spice separately as the cooking time and temperature vary. Be careful not to let them burn. Add them to the peppercorns and asafoetida.
Heat a second teaspoon of oil and dry-fry the coriander seeds and curry leaves, stirring all the time, until fragrant. Remove and add to the other spices.
Heat the final teaspoon of oil and fry the chillies until fragrant. Combine all the spices, including the turmeric, and mix in the sugar. Grind to a fine powder in a clean electric coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle. Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 months.
© 2008 Christine McFadden. All rights reserved.